In addition to having substantial experience with
Hitachi Data Systems'
corporate customer reference program, Jeremiah
Owyang is a
rapidly rising star in the world of social media. His
own blog is in the top 1% according to Technorati. In
his video show for the Pod network he has
interviewed luminaries such as Michael Dell, Craig
Newmark (craigslist founder) and Marc Canter,
founder of Macromedia (now Adobe). He has been
involved with or managed four Corporate Enterprise
Intranets, and two extranets ranging from enterprises
such as Exodus Communications, Cable and
Wireless, World Savings, and most recently Hitachi.
He is also the Director of Corporate
Media Strategy at PodTech Networks in Palo Alto, a
company focused on Video Blogging, Podcasting
and Blogging. And I'm happy to say he'll be
presenting at our next Customer Reference Forum on April
24. To learn more about Jeremiah, check out his
blog, Web Strategy by Jeremiah.
This month he'll be sharing thoughts on the rise
of social media and its coming impact on reference
programs. Following is an excerpt. To
read the full
interview, please click here.
Reference Programs and Social Media: 9
Questions for Jeremiah Owyang
Q: Will social media make marketing
A: No, it makes savvy Marketers more relevant.
Marketers are traditional one-way message
creators. With Social Media, this forces Marketers to
join these conversations of communities that are
forming (even if corporations don't participate) and be
part of a two-way dialogue that matters.
Customers will be telling marketers exactly how
they want their products, information, and services,
and that is an opportunity to become better and more
Q: The premise of marketing is that
corporations need to communicate to customers and
prospects. The premise of customer reference
programs is to gain credibility by using customers to
speak on the corporation's behalf. Now with social
media, customers are talking to each other,
unimpeded. Isn't that dangerous for the corporation?
Isn't it dangerous to reference managers' careers?
A: There are definite threatening disruptions for
corporations and customer reference managers due
to Social Media. My post provides some practical
suggestions on how to make the Customer
Reference Program MORE relevant.
Instead of just harvesting positive references, by
extending the Customer Reference program into the
Social Media programs, managers can also help
build loyalty, join customers in creating the brand
together, improve product innovation and feedback,
better understand their customers and learn about
other market forces, such as competition.
Most importantly, in addition to the Customer
Reference program, the savvy manager will harness
the word of mouth of existing customers and get them
to sing the praises on behalf of the corporation.
Q: What B2B companies have been notably
successful in fostering online customer communities?
A: To start off with, Hitachi had a
successful "Community Marketing" program that
brought customers closer, connected product
managers with customers, extended executive
thought leadership, tied together an industry, and
leveraged the word of mouth of customers. I'm
biased of course, as I lead this program!
Microsoft, Sun, IBM, HP, Wells Fargo, Intuit, every
music artist, most TV shows are using online
communities for success. There are many case
studies and examples that are developing right
To read the rest of the interview -- where Jeremiah
discusses the best use of social media he's seen by a
B2B firm, the worst, how to engage an existing
customer community, good sources for further
information on social media, and more -- please click here.
SPRING 2007 CUSTOMER REFERENCE FORUM
Early registration is about to expire for the Spring
2007 Customer Reference Forum. It will be
CA at the fabulous Claremont Resort (attendees who
early can stay for $200 a night -- a great deal). We
terrific presentations by Jeremiah as well as Hewlett-
Packard's Billie Abrams, Amdoc's Stephanie Porter,
Oracle's Gayle McClary and other top reference
professionals -- plus a
keynote by Ben McConnell, co-author of Citizen
and much more.
For more information about the event and to
please click here.
WORD OF MOUTH BASIC TRAINING 2007
The third installment of WOMMA's original how-to
conference series is going to New Orleans April
17-18, 2007. It will feature more than 50 expert
speakers and two full days of practical how-to
instruction and detailed case studies exclusively for
word of mouth marketers. Here's more
information about the event .
LOOKING FOR A JOB? LOOKING FOR A
If you are a reference professional looking for a job
firm seeking to hire an experienced reference
drop me a note (feel free to reply to this email) and I'll
word out to our community.